Perspective – A New Story

View from my spot in Retiro

sigues el destino.

I feel like I’m losing my marbles.

Everytime I feel like I’m going nuts, I walk to El Parque del Buen Retiro. I walk by the Palace hotel, cross paths with skateboarders jumping rails and tourists pointing at maps. I wait at the corner of Paseo del Prado and always look at Neptune, standing tall in his fountain. I walk across the promenade where I see pick pocketers pick and make my way up to my favorite entrance to the park, Plaza de la Independencia.

I walk straight through the gates, passing flowers and lovers, watching fights and forgiveness and then I arrive at the water. I stop and lean on the wall. I watch people row boats, always thinking I’m going to see my ex-boyfriend with another girl. I inhale nostalgia and exhale indifference.

I go right and walk by stands filled with sunflower seeds and candy. I veer left  and usually see the same old man playing the same Sinatra tune, “My Way.”

I reach the crystal palace.

My spot is in the shade, under the full trees – a good distance away from benches supporting lovers. I listen to the water.

Everything started right here.

And when I get upset I come back to this place. I go to a happy place to be sad. Why that works I don’t know. Maybe it tricks the pain.

I always think I’m going to see him here. In a place that maybe I only remember. I think I’ll see him here, but I never do. All I see are lovers, children, cameras and the sun.

I’ve been in Madrid the last three years and have recently been splitting my time between a city I am truly in love with (Madrid) and a place where I constantly feel stuck (New York).  Well, I arrived in Madrid a week ago and again I’m opened. My pores absorb all of its energy and spirit and I am completely inspired, yet this time I also feel lost.

This is the second time I’ve felt completely out of sorts. Like the kind where you can’t eat because you feel sick or you have to go running to release pent up energy. My last post was about moving forward fearlessly, and I guess being in Madrid gives me the time I need to think about how to accomplish this.

Why am I out of sorts?

1) I’m an emotional droid right now.

Breaking up with people has never been something I’m good at. I have a tendency to want the person so badly that I stay long after we declare things to be over. I go through so many emotions during this period of being with someone, but not being with them. And the worst part is that I do it to myself.

Sometimes I hate love. I can’t stand loving someone so much – knowing that all the closeness / memories shared go away once it’s over.

I’m a cancer and I guess it’s true that we hold on to the past.

2) Career – I work so hard, but not sure I’m going to get to where I want to go

There are so many things I want to do and for some reason I feel like I don’t know where to go to get there. My dad always says. “there’s not always a straight line from here to the end goal.” And I know he’s right – but what’s the next move?

I’m struggling right now. I’m asking questions like: What am I doing in my life? Where do I want to live? How can I get to where I want to be?  Yes, I know you might be thinking – Saturn’s Return … and, it’s possible.

Sometimes the only way I can see things clearly is if I imagine I’m a character in a book. What would my character do? Would she go on some Eat, Pray, Love quest, continue with living between New York and Madrid, pick a place, open up to the possibility of love, stay closed off to emotion, make a career change, stay doing the same thing.

If  I created a character with the same issues who asked the same questions – how would I craft her journey to find the answer?

I’d tell her to take baby steps. And she would ask, “Well, what’s the first step. What’s my first action item?” And I would say …

Get control – not the best action item because how the heck is she supposed to do that.

okay – scratched.

New action item: think about what she wants. Really define the details. No more generalities.

Now what does my character want? … First let’s give her a name – Anabel.

So what does Anabel want? Well, I’ll let you know in the next post 🙂

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  • Arthur Hamilton

    Used to be one of my favorite spots in Retiro, too. I also walked through those same gates. They used to have book fairs there.

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